Whenever we celebrate a new year, most of us will think about the new year’s resolution. Some might give up as we failed to achieve previous goals. I had the same experience where I moved my goals from one year to another. So this year, I changed my approach to how I organize my life. You can actually start your new resolution any time, not only at the beginning of the year. Here are 5 simple steps that I have tried for a month now, and I love them.
1. Setting up a ‘theme’ for all important aspects of your life
I divided my life into 4 categories which are: health, financial, spiritual, and knowledge. I personally think these 4 areas are crucial, that can help me achieve a balanced life. You need to identify why the theme or objective matters to you. Be mindful when you think about it. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions. This will lead you to stay on track and be consistent. The theme should be really high-level, and it is preferred to have one theme for each category to stay focused. For example:
|Look good and healthy||Financial peace and ease of mind||Feel content and calm||Feel confident and knowledgeable|
2. Expand the theme into long and short term goals
From step 1, you can start breaking the theme into a high-level goal. For instance, you aim to save $50,000 in 5 years for the financial category. This will be your long term goal. Next is to chunk it into a smaller size goal that can fit into a year of effort. For example, you can aim to save around $10,000 per year. This can be your short term goal.
List down all the to-dos, tasks that you can think of to help you achieve that goal. You can use many ways/techniques to structure your plan, like using the SMART (Specific- Measurable – Achievable – Realistic – Timely) technique. You don’t need to be rigid or strict, as it may lead to frustration. What I did was break the year into quarters. In each quarter, I listed what needs to be done. So whenever I hit or miss the target, I still have enough time to catch up to achieving those goals that I have set. Another tip that I practised now and then is letting go of the thought of being perfect all the time. You can aim for 100%, but if in the end, if you hit 80%, that’s okay too. Imagine if you didn’t plan at all; you probably would not have that high achievement percentage. Right? 🙂
3. Chunk your short term goals into a smaller size so that is manageable
After having clear short term goals and how to achieve them, you can start to incorporate them into your monthly and weekly plan. Again, you are flexible to move the tasks within the week or month according to your preference. Don’t beat yourself if you didn’t manage to complete the to-dos 🙂
4. Identify whether it is a one task-done or a repetitive task
When you organize your tasks listed in step 2, it is important to differentiate between an errand that is a one-off (e.g. task in a project) or a repetitive task (e.g. doing push-ups every day for 10 minutes) that contributes to the incremental progress that leads to the goal achievement. Repetitive tasks usually will be much easier after it is built through habit or routine. Sometimes it can also be automated, such as automating online payment every month into sinking funds for financial goals.
5. Self reflect every 2 weeks
Since it is a new start, it is okay to not be perfect for the first time. What you can do is to retrospect regularly according to your preference. It can be every week, every 2 weeks, or once a month. You can use the regular columns that we have in a normal retrospective meeting, namely “what went well?”, what went wrong?”, “what needs to be improved?”. From the lesson learnt, we can always adjust and re-plan.
I hope these tips will help you in achieving your life goals. Do you have any specific ideas followed to achieve your goals? I would love to hear those thoughts, and let me know your thoughts on my approach.
Happy planning! ^_^
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